by | Apr 4, 2022


Girlstown Talisay, Class of 2007

I’m originally from Davao City, Philippines, where I was born and grew up. When I was young, I used to attend a Sunday school beside our parish church. One day, they announced that for those who were willing to study high school in Cebu City, there would be an entrance exam and interview with the Sisters of Mary on a scheduled date. I was more than willing to study in a school where my parents would no longer worry about my high school expenses for four whole years. My father was a baker, and my mother was working in a cooperative store where she earned below minimum wage. I only had one sibling, my brother, who is a year younger than me. Though we were only two children in the family, we still lived a very simple life since my parents couldn’t afford to gift us with expensive things.

The Sisters of Mary taught me how to love God in my own special way. During my time there, I was molded to become a good Catholic, how to pray with devotion, to pray fervently the rosary daily, attend Holy Mass and accept all trials and hardships in life lovingly and offer up everything to God’s big hands. I learned to be positive amidst those storms that came into my life. I held tightly to my faith in God. I learned to surrender everything to him no matter how painful it was. My life has truly changed 180 degrees. I’ve been more positive in life. I’ve learned to become more diligent and conscientious and at the same time to remain simple. I’ve learned to value more what is most important to me rather than those material things that are only temporary and couldn’t give me enough satisfaction at the end of the day.

I’m living in Davao and working as a loan processor/teller in a financing company. I studied this course for four years in college. Now, I have enough time for my family, my mother and brother. They’re the only two who remain. My father passed away during my 4th year of high school due to a heart attack, which left me a huge blow. Then, my husband of only six months was diagnosed with kidney failure and passed away after one and a half months. I was left with no kids. I’ve become a widow at the age of 28. I’ve been devastated, grief-stricken and broken, yet I strongly held my faith and trust to God.

If God allows, I hope to have a whole and complete family of my own. I want to have kids. I hope to give my family, my mother and brother, the best life they can have in their lifetime. The most important thing for me is my family, and there is no greater gift than to be with them and let them feel how special and important they are to me. We’ve been there for each other through our ups and downs, and I’m truly grateful to God for giving me this kind of family. They are indeed my treasure, and I couldn’t ask for more.

Learn more about the children

The children at our schools come from the poorest of the poor. Each child has their own stories of what their life was before coming to our schools and how their lives are being transformed by the Sisters of Mary programs.  Read the moving stories of our children in their own words. 

Meet Our Graduates

There are 160,000+  graduates from the Sisters of Mary Schools. Many of our graduates went on to live prosperous lives, helping their families and local communities. Read the inspiring stories of our graduates in their own words. 

Life At Our Villages

Learn more about how we help children break free from a life of poverty.